Lying To Children

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Schooldays

lying to children


I am about to go shopping. And I am smiling. Because a stranger has just asked my name. A stranger I know. A stranger who knows loads about me. It’s Tall Kid. A schoolkid who was a few inches off my height, and therefore worthy of mention, and maybe a handshake, if you’re feeling wild.


I stare at him.


And beam.



It is 2008. I am a schoolteacher, and I’ve learned something about children. They really love teachers. They want to know everything about them. They want to know everything about me! Which is unusual, as some of them are female. And since when do female people want to know anything about…..




They’re all on games.


They’re trying to make me forget about work by stroking my ego! Those rats! And they’re schoolchildren! One of the trusted things of today’s society! I am thinking of a good way to punish them when some of them start talking about chastity. Their views are different to mine, and so I decide that the value of guarding their hearts outweighs the need for GCSE Bitesize. I decide to make a stand!


I sit down.


And broadcast to the class the value of chastity. And smile. For I have saved a generation of children from needless heartache. The lesson ends, and I head to lunch. Where I get to skip the queue as a teacher. I smile. And decide to not. These are schoolchildren! And they deserve my respect! I eat my lunch with the kids and head back to class. When I hear a sound. A voice. A yell.


“22 year old virgin!”




I may have told them my real age. But then, this is good! I’m the poster boy for abstinence! And there are very few causes for which I would turn down fame. Apart from The Let’s All Welcome John Terry Back Into Respectable Society Society. I am a servant to chastity. And I am proud. I am… Legend.



It is tomorrow, and I am in the staff room eating lunch.


Away from the kids.


I have been hollered at ceaselessly. It’s like some kind of school-based paparazzi, only not very nice. I turn to Teddy, the school’s longsuffering IT guy.


“You know what your problem is, Dan?”


I look at him, and open my eyes slightly wider, but possibly shouldn’t be leaned in as far as I am. Teddy continues, and I decide that he probably hasn’t noticed.


“Would you mind, just… sorry, just… bit of personal space, you know.”


Oh no!I’m gonna get a reputation! Another reputation! I’m a virgin who doesn’t understand personal space! The irony! Or not. I’m still not quite sure what irony is. Or a woman. Teddy pipes up again.


“You should never tell them anything about you.”


“But these are schoolchildren! They’re going to find stuff out! Give them some credit man, show them a bit of darn respect!”


He smiles.


“Exactly. So make some stuff up.”


“But… that would be lying!”


He smiles.


“….to children!


He smiles.


“…. to schoolchildren!”


Teddy stops smiling.


I smile. I’ve obviously got through to this heartless man.






I never thought of it like that.


“I tell them my name’s Tiberias.”


I smile. That’s genius.


“That’s genius! But how can you prove it?”


“Well my logon just says Mr. T. Bowen. That T could be anything. I’ve been saying it for 20 years. There’s kids in their 30s who in three years will watch Thor in Star Trek and get the reference.”


I have an idea. And smile. And head to class.



It is last lesson, and I am in a science lab. Poised. My fingers are at the ready by the computer log-in screen. I have got Teddy to create a second user for Mr. L. Mohr to prove that my name really is Liam. And when they think that it’s Liam, I log in to Mr. D. Mohr.


I am Legend.


I need a dog.


I smile, and spot Vicky. The sweet sister of the sweet boy who goes to the sweet, sweet Chawn youth. She waves, and points at me. And then writes something down. I smile, and wonder if she has perhaps drawn me a portrait. Or a picture of me hanging out with some test tubes. Probably playing on the swings. I wander over, and look down.


And stop smiling.


And re-read.


“His real name is Dan.”


Oh no! The shock activates my default action man emergency settings, and I kick into gear.


“That’s not my name!”


I panic, and decide to extend the D into an L, before very quickly realising how much it won’t work and deciding to have a sneaky P.


“Your name is…. Pan?


Huh. That’s probably not gonna work.


“No….! That’s just the… shortened version.”


I write some more. The first thing that comes into my head.


“Your name is…. Pan… Pipe?”


Huh. That’s probably not gonna work. I sigh. And realise that there’s no way to add anything to that. Unless I add some silent consonants and pretend I’m African. I decide that I’m probably not a convincing African. Which at least makes me like Leonardo DiCaprio.




Vicky smiles. And hears me make up an emergency backstory proving that Pan Pipe is my name. Her Friend looks confused, but accepts it! I smile, and see out the week with people shouting “Pan Pipe Mohr!” at me a lot.


I smile, and start telling kids that I’m 41, called Liam, and grew up in Kenya.



I stare at Tall Kid. Who stares back at me. “So what actually is your name, Sir?”


I sigh.


“I suppose you can know the truth now.”


He smiles, and prods his mate with excitement.


“It’s Cyril.”


I turn to walk away, as Tall Kid looks at me with confusion, before opening his mouth.


“41 year old virgin!”


I smile, and buy a dog.


  1. William says:

    Ah, Dan… and to think you could have used PANcho… (If she said you don’t look Spanish, could’ve told her you had Hispanic great grandparents) 🙂

    Well, I don’t like lying to students either. I just won’t tell them everything. Heck, most classes pass through without knowing my real name. Oh well… 😛

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